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Granger v. Ontario

January 26, 2024

Charter of Rights / Privacy Law Class Action

What this class action is about

Goldblatt Partners LLP has commenced a class action against the province of Ontario on behalf of individuals who provided a consent DNA sample in a criminal investigation and were excluded as a suspect.

The Statement of Claim alleges that, contrary to the requirements of the Criminal Code, which requires the destruction of consent DNA profiles for innocent donors, the province has retained the profiles of innocent DNA donors. The Statement of Claim alleges the ongoing retention of the consent DNA profiles violates section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. In addition, it is alleged that the ongoing retention of the DNA profiles violates the common law right to privacy.

The proposed class consists of:

All persons who voluntarily provided a bodily substance sample, which was subject to forensic DNA analysis by the Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences and for whom the forensic analysis created results which established that the voluntarily given sample did not match any bodily substances obtained within the meaning of s. 487.05(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, for the time period of June 30, 2000 to April 1, 2022.

If you believe you provided a consent DNA sample in a criminal investigation which cleared you as a suspect at any time after June 30, 2000, please contact Jody Brown or Geetha Philipupillai (contact information in the links below).

The Class Proceedings Fund has provided financial support for this case.

The next step in this case will be to seek an order from the court to certify it as a class action.

Read the Statement of Claim here.


January 26, 2024: Update regarding trial scheduling

The summary judgment motion scheduled for October 2023 did not proceed. Instead, this class action is proceeding to an in-person summary trial before Justice Akbarali of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto on April 29, 30, May 6, 7, and 8, 2024.  A Zoom link for observing the trial will be posted on this page once available.

The trial will be based on the summary judgment records filed by the parties, and previously posted in the links below.

January 2023: Court approves March 17, 2023 opt-out deadline and Notice of Certification

If you fall within the above Class definition, you will automatically be included in the class action. You may however choose to opt-out of the class action and pursue any claim on your own.

To be excluded from this class action you must send a signed and dated Opt-Out Form to Class Counsel at the address specified in the form confirming that you do not want to be a part of the lawsuit. Further details, including information on how to opt-out of the lawsuit can be found here.

The deadline for opting out is March 17, 2023. If your written request to opt-out is not received by that date you will remain a Class Member.

The Court’s judgment in this matter, whether favourable or not, will bind all Class Members who do not opt-out of the proceeding.

If you wish to participate personally in the lawsuit, please contact Class Counsel or you may apply directly to the Court for permission to do so.

Read the Court’s order approving the Notice of Certification, and the March 17, 2023 opt-out deadline here.

November 2022: Court amends time for class period on consent

The Superior Court has amended the class period for this class action, on the consent of the defendant, to be from June 30, 2000 to April 1, 2022. The prior court order certifying the class action provided for a time period of June 30, 2000 to July 8, 2020.

A copy of the Court’s order amending the class definition is available here.

November 2021:  Plaintiff serves reply record

The plaintiff has served a reply record in the motion for summary judgment. You can read it here.

October, 2021:  Defendant serves its motion record

The defendant has served its motion record in the motion for summary judgment. You can read it here.

July 29, 2021 – Plaintiff serves motion record for summary judgment

The plaintiff has served the motion record for summary judgment. The motion record is the written evidence that will be used to support the plaintiff’s argument on the merits. You can read the evidence here:  Vol. 1; Vol. 2; Vol. 3; Vol. 4; Vol 5.

September 10, 2020 – Government files statement of defence

The government has filed its statement of defence. The statement of defence is the government’s position on why it has not done anything legally wrong. Read the statement of defence here.

July 9, 2020 – Class action certified!

The court has granted certification of this class proceeding. This means the case can now continue as a class action to determine whether the retention of DNA profiles from innocent consent DNA donors is a violation of the Charter or privacy rights of class members.

Click here to read the court’s decision.

February 12, 2020 – Certification hearing rescheduled

The certification hearing in this matter has been moved to April 8 and 9, 2020.

November 25, 2019 – Plaintiff’s factum filed / Date set for certification hearing

The plaintiff has filed his written argument for the court hearing which will decide if this case becomes a class action. The court hearing will be held on February 5 and 6 in Toronto. You can read the written argument here.

April 3, 2019 – Motion record served

The plaintiff has served the motion record for the certification hearing.

The motion record is the written evidence that will be used to support the plaintiff’s argument that this case should be a class action. You can read Volume 1 here and Volume 2 here.


Jody Brown, Geetha Philipupillai

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Constitutional Law, Privacy & Access to Information